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Monday, February 24, 2014

First week in Sierra Leone

Ayyy ohhh,

Well I don't even remember the last time I talked to family or friends... I've been out for just about a year plus or minus a few days hahaha! I think... Is that right? So last time I wrote, I told you a lot about my companion I think. Well, turns out, we were best buds by the time we left the MTC! Every night he would say, I will never forget you Elder Crandall... and then right after he'd ask me to by him several things haha! I guess that is just how Nigerians work! We had companion ship inventory earlier in the week and I pretty much dropped everything I had on him... with also a lot of positive things he did that week... but after we talked about everything we just started to click. I think the major impact was, we started laughing together. He would laugh at other things but we never laughed together! He realized that I am a big tease which I'm sure everyone who is reading this knows too. So we were really good at teasing each other about stuff back home and the things we would do in class! I don't know if I said it last week but my nickname for him was elder Slo mo haha and everytime I called him that he would just laugh!!

I want to share my favorite experience in the Mtc. So I had fun the entire time I was there but the culture was super hard to adjust to and because there were only 3 americans that I would only have enough time to say hi to like twice a day. So it was the last sunday in the mtc. There had been quite a bit of contention between a bunch of the Nigerian elders the past few days over a ping pong ball, and some jokes that weren't necessary. So I think its safe to say.. the spirit had pretty much left. We were in Sacrament meeting and President Robison's wife spoke. She talked about repentance. She emphasized that repentance means change. For some reason this spoke straight to my heart. I was confused to why I needed to repent at the end of the day if there wasn't something obvious I did wrong. But she explained it so perfectly. We repent everyday just by changing and trying to become more christlike. Repentance is so much deeper than just confessing you did something wrong! We were sent to this earth to repent. This means we are sent to this earth to change and become better. I am still learning a lot about this in my personal study, but I was so grateful for the way she put it in her talk. Then, President Robison spoke. I thought I was already overloaded with the spirit after his wife's talk but ohhh no he just topped me off! haha He talked about how we WILL struggle throughout our missions and that while I can write friends and family once a week, they wont be here to comfort me. Only one person can. That is my Father in Heaven. I was trying soooooooo hard not to burst into tears because the entire time the spirit was testifying how true and real the words were. He said that we need to be praying with every fiber of out being when we kneel down at night to talk with our Father in Heaven. We cannot succeed in this life if we are not on our knees asking heavenly father what our next step should be. I have repented/changed the way I pray. There is no possible way anyone could serve a mission without the comfort from our heavenly father.

So the reason why I wasn't able to write last week was because we flew out on our P-Day which was last tuesday! For some reason, airports freak me out because there is a lot of unknowns... One of the Elders going to Sierra Leone with me had 1 bag that was smaller than my smallest carry on! hahaha so he checked one of my massive suitcases for me. Otherwise I was just gonna leave all my candy and delicious goods. Heaven knows I wouldn't have survived without that food this last week too! Anyways, I slept at the mission home that first night and then I met my trainer in the morning. His name is Elder Chemhuru from Zimbabwe,he is my district leader as well! In the picture they gave me before I met him he is straight up mean mugging!! so I thought he was gonna be a super serious and intense guy. We have already had quite a few good laughs so I'm not to worried about connecting with him.

I am serving in the Kissy 2 Area. It is on the East end of Freetown, so I am in the city. However, their definition and my definition of city are much much different. My area consists of the mountain and that is it. It reminds me of the type of hikes I would go on with all my buds back home! We basically hike through peoples front yards, backyards, and sometimes we just walk through houses for a short cut!!hahaha! I will try and attach a picture but I don't know if I will have time. The counselors dropped us off at our apartment and we immediately started proselyting. I taught 3 lessons my first day! I am doing better each day, but I have to adjust to a whole new culture and climate again haha! There is seriously garbage EVERYWHERE! I am still getting use to that. They have water running down a little creek in the mountain where I proselyte and it is loaded with trash...but they don't care, that is where everyone goes to clean their clothes!!! hahaha!! I don't know if it is just me but... I doubt they are cleaning any of their clothes, they are only making them worse! haha!

My comp and I live in an apartment with 4 other elders. They are all american which is super nice! I finally have someone to relate to!!haha! My favorite part about the apartment is probably the MASSIVE amount of cockroaches that scatter when you lift something up!! I moved my mattress that I was assigned to and oh boy they just went crazy!! After I set up my bed the other elders were like.... Ya im pretty sure that bed has bed bugs.... All I could think to respond was... NO DUH!!! hahaha! I slept nice and horrible the first night..
I kept waking up to something crawling on my leg! yikes. I'm just use to it now so I've been sleeping better! haha! I use the bug net...
but it does absolutely nothing for the roaches!

Well I have lots and lots of other funny stories but I am running short on time.

Shout out to any woman who has ever had a child.... Thank you for feeding your child in private. Also thank you for not having kids when you are like 75 hahaha!I have already taught 3 lessons were they just whip it right out and start feeding their kid, or grandkid or for the love maybe even their great grandkid... It is super great(sarcasm) especially when I am in the middle of bearing my testimony cause all I can think is.... Look into the womans eyes... And then I forget what I was trying to bear my testimony about! hahahahaha!! The African way is a weird one.... don't know if I will ever adjust to this part of the culture. Thought I would share a TIT bit about this so you can pray that my eyes wont go blind by the time I get home! hahaha!

Shout out to my mother dear, I love you. You are such a great example and I hope that taxes aren't driving you crazy yet! Take care of my ole man! (gramps and dad)

Love you all, you are all in my prayers!!

Love,
Elder Crandall the Vandal

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